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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 3:03 pm 
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Model Monkey
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For many of us, 3D printed parts are a new technology for model ship building. Preparing and painting these parts is a bit different than the techniques we use for injection-molded polystyrene plastic. And finding products is difficult if using Shapeways' search engine.

So here's a thread for those with some experience and advice to post their thoughts.

Tip #1. Finding Products. Shapeways search engine is awful. Don't use it. Instead, go to Google (or Yahoo, or whatever your favorite search engine is) and type in something like "1:700 Shapeways Bofors". Works much better.

Tip #2. Cleaning and painting.

Painting 3D-printed parts by Shapeways is not the same as painting polystyrene plastic kit parts. But worry not, dear reader!

First, clean your parts thoroughly. Clean your new parts with a mild, water-based detergent like "Dawn". "Fairy" or "Simple Green" in water. Let your parts soak for a few hours to remove any wax. Do NOT use acetone, Goo Gone or mineral spirits. They can dissolve the plastic.

Place your "Frosted Detail" parts in direct sunlight or under an ultra-violet light (UV) lamp for several hours (more is better) to fully harden the resin. "Frosted Detail" plastics are made from from liquid acrylic chemically cured to a solid by exposure to ultraviolet "UV" light. UV light breaks down an inhibitor in the resin permitting the liquid resin to harden. Sometimes, microscopic bits of liquid resin remain uncured within the part. It's true: some paints, notably enamels, simply will not cure on "Frosted Detail" plastics if any of the resin remains uncured. There is a simple solution: let your parts sit in direct sunlight for a few hours before painting them. Placing your parts under a UV lamp works even faster, in about an hour.

Once your parts are fully hardened, enamel paints such as Colourcoats can work. But first you have to make sure the resin is absolutely fully hardened by UV light before using enamels. The Sun is your friend. If in any doubt, for best results on "Frosted Detail" plastics from Shapeways, use acrylic paint specifically meant for plastics.

Even with acrylic paints, some modelers experience a kind of staining which can develop after painting. This is caused, again, by microscopic amounts of liquid resin in the parts. Sunlight before painting is the cure.

Pat Matthews describes this staining phenomenon and cure in a very good article here:
http://www.wmunderway.8m.com/cgi/yabb2/ ... 1448921837

Author's edit (23 July 2017): do NOT use "Goo Gone" or "Bestine" to clean your products.

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Have fun, Monkey around.

-Steve Larsen

Complete catalog of over 1900 designs for scale modelers:
3D-printed gray resin - https://www.model-monkey.com/
3D-printed white acrylic - https://modelmonkey.wixsite.com/modelmonkey


Last edited by ModelMonkey on Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:59 am, edited 10 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 7:29 am 
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Simple Green... is it sufficient to merely soak the parts in the stuff, or is more active scrubbing required?

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 8:45 am 
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blw wrote:
Simple Green... is it sufficient to merely soak the parts in the stuff, or is more active scrubbing required?

Depends on the complexity of the shape of the part and how well Shapeways cleaned it prior to shipping. Shapeways cleans the items using ultrasonic baths twice before shipping, one in an oil to remove any residual wax, the next in soapy water to remove the oil.

Customers are reporting that normally Shapeways has done a good job cleaning the parts and that little-to-no cleaning is normally required by the modeler. The parts I have received required no cleaning. I soaked them in Simple Green anyway just to be sure.

Hope this helps, Brian!

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Have fun, Monkey around.

-Steve Larsen

Complete catalog of over 1900 designs for scale modelers:
3D-printed gray resin - https://www.model-monkey.com/
3D-printed white acrylic - https://modelmonkey.wixsite.com/modelmonkey


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 3:18 pm 
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Tip #3. Smoothing "Frosted Detail" surfaces.

If necessary, smooth "Frosted Detail" surfaces with an "air eraser". Shapeways prints many objects for modelers in an acrylic plastic known as "Frosted Ultra Detail" (FUD) and "Frosted Extreme Detail" (FXD). Compared to polystyrene, it is brittle. But like polystyrene, it sands and cuts easily. When you receive your FUD or FED parts, you may not like the "frost" that appears on the surface or the printlines. FXD is smoother than FUD but costs more. Any surfaces that were in contact with the waxy support material will likely be rougher than surfaces that were not in contact with the wax.

Some modelers have discovered that using a relatively inexpensive tool known as an "Air Eraser" easily removes "frost" and helps smooth surfaces without removing detail. An Air Eraser looks very much like a hand-held airbrush but instead of emitting paint, it sprays an abrasive grit, kind of like very gentle sandblasting.

Air Erasers start at about $30 USD and are available online through Amazon and other hobby outlets. Models by Harbor Freight and Paasche are popular. Edit: Here's a link to one example of an inexpensive air eraser: https://www.harborfreight.com/air-erase ... 69277.html

Air erasers have been used for years to etch glass but with a much coarser grit. Instead, use common household baking soda as the abrasive grit. It's cheap and nontoxic, and you can get it just about anywhere. You probably already have a good supply in your kitchen. Air Erasers are good at gently removing paint, too, another good reason for hobbyists to have one. Please follow any safety advice offered by the Air Eraser's manufacturer.

Tip #4. Smoothing "Strong & Flexible" surfaces.

If you buy products printed in the comparatively inexpensive "Strong and Flexible" plastic, a kind of tough nylon, air erasers won't work. Being nylon, S&F does not sand easily. To smooth S&F surfaces, apply thin layers of primer, then smooth the primer. Since the material is nylon, use a primer specifically meant for nylon. Google "primer for nylon" and several good brands will turn up.

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Have fun, Monkey around.

-Steve Larsen

Complete catalog of over 1900 designs for scale modelers:
3D-printed gray resin - https://www.model-monkey.com/
3D-printed white acrylic - https://modelmonkey.wixsite.com/modelmonkey


Last edited by ModelMonkey on Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:16 am, edited 8 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 10:53 am 
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Air Eraser will remove printing layer lines? I bought several Shapeways' printed figures, some with rather objectionable printing lines/texture running along them - especially on the the faces, etc. Needless to say, I was not too pleased, and I realize replacement figures will be just the same. :wave_1:


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:40 pm 
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Not having these figures I am unable to answer that question. Perhaps another modeler who has them and tried using an air eraser on them will chime in. It will probably be insufficient to remove deep striations on some 3D printed materials.

Generally, for superstructures printed in FUD and FXD, the air eraser removes minor surface roughness, the "frost", which some modelers do not like. An air eraser can help smooth some surfaces if the product is printed in acrylic FUD or FXD. It probably won't affect Strong and Flexible plastics, which are a tough nylon.

A note about Strong and Flexible plastics, which are inexpensive when compared to FUD and FXD. Modelers who have chosen Strong and Flexible materials for scale models, especially static models where scale appearance is very important, are generally unhappy with Strong and Flexible plastics. S&F has very noticeable print lines, is difficult to sand, and does not accept hobby paints well. Strong and Flexible plastics are best for use on models where surface appearance is less important than durability, such as R/C applications. S&F is ideal for Combat R/C because it is somewhat resistant to shot and takes abuse well, such as repeated sinkings.

For static scale, FUD and FXD remain the best available options.

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Have fun, Monkey around.

-Steve Larsen

Complete catalog of over 1900 designs for scale modelers:
3D-printed gray resin - https://www.model-monkey.com/
3D-printed white acrylic - https://modelmonkey.wixsite.com/modelmonkey


Last edited by ModelMonkey on Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:17 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 7:23 am 
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Hi all,
Today I tried using the Harbor Tools air eraser with baking soda to clean up some of Steve's 1/700 parts. I had a defective printing in FUD of the Arizona bridge to play with. I found that it did a great job cleaning up areas that had that crystalized rough texture. There were some nasty areas under platforms around the support members and that cleaned up nicely. Best of all it smoothed out masts and barrels to the point where I didn't feel like i need to sand or replace these sections. Make no mistake though, if you work an area it will take plastic and not just the frosted area. In one area it really softened the molded in doors. I did not find that it returned any of the area I was working to a clear state. But overall the softening is pleasing and does not detract from the printing. Much better than I could have done with sand paper and it worked well in areas I couldn't get to. I suppose if you work an area long enough it could get ugly. But if you're careful the results are good. This was a good tip. Thank you.
Dave


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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 9:26 am 
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Hi David; when using an air-eraser, if you stay in one place too long will it create a divot, or depression, in that spot? I have the same 1/700 Arizona parts with a heavy sand-paper texture under the first platform - you were able to eliminate that successfully? The air-eraser works off the same compressor as an air-brush? Can you strip previous paint jobs as well? How about cleaning up CA smudges on models? :wave_1:


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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 1:41 pm 
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Yo Yo Yo Guys

I use the air eraser from Harbor freight. The orifice is smaller than the Pasche model.
With the smaller hole the baking soda is finer spray. I know, I called the owner of Pasche to ask about the orifice sizes.
Compressor pressure I use is 40 -60 PSI for general cleaning. Anything lower and the cleaning is hindered as the baking soda has not enough velocity to be effective. It's a trial and error method. I have had some real crap from Shapeways that the higher pressure cleaned them right up. Some were so bad that I sent pics to Shapeways customer service and got re-prints for free. I did contact the CEO 1 time as the print so bad that the cleaning was useless. He was very open to the problems I encountered.

I also use dawn dish washing liquid in an ultra sonic cleaner 1st. Hot water and some dawn and 2 cycles got all the wax off the parts.

Hope this helps

Bob


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 2:40 pm 
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biggles2 wrote:
Hi David; when using an air-eraser, if you stay in one place too long will it create a divot, or depression, in that spot? I have the same 1/700 Arizona parts with a heavy sand-paper texture under the first platform - you were able to eliminate that successfully? The air-eraser works off the same compressor as an air-brush? Can you strip previous paint jobs as well? How about cleaning up CA smudges on models? :wave_1:


Sorry for the delay. It will take a long long time and a lot of baking soda to bore a hole with one of these air erasers. If you hang around a long time in one area you will definitely soften the molding and round off edges. I'm sure I had the same experience as you did with he rough area. It cleaned it up nicely. I used the same compressor as my airbrush. I have mine plumbed to the garage already. Trust me, you want to do this outside.

It will clean up paint. I had a 1/700 Arizona turret that I had painted with Stynylrez. Just for grins I tested to see if it would remove the paint and it did. Putting it in a bath of Windex would have been quicker.

Bob is right. You need a good 55 PSI to get good results. I'm not sure what we're talking about with the hole sizes. Bob, can you explain further? The nozzle on the HF unit I used was clogged with something. I cleaned the clog out and it seemed to work fine. I don't think I changed the size of the hole.

I definitely recommend the ultrasonic cleaner before you do the air eraser.

Make no mistake. Even the baking soda will take plastic so you need to be careful with it. But this is the best thing I've seen for smoothing out the Shapeways parts.


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 7:00 pm 
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Tip orifice size is what I am talking about. The HF eraser has a smaller orifice than the Passche erasers. I called passche and spoke to the head tech guy about this.
If mine gets clogged, I unscrew the tip and run a sewing needle through the tip. Don't loose the rubber "o" ring!.

Bob


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:48 pm 
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For those interested in the kind of printers used by Shapeways to print Frosted Detail parts, here's an article describing a high quality printer, a ProJet 3500HDMax:

http://www.engineering.com/3DPrinting/3 ... HDMax.aspx

This is not your garage or high school printer. It costs between $70,000 and $90,000.

Tip #5: cleaning your parts: be advised that FUD and FXD may be sensitive to prolonged oxygen exposure. Your parts will come to you covered in a thin oil. Just leave the parts in their shipping bag, uncleaned, until you are ready to use them. When ready, clean them in a mild, water-based detergent in water before painting. Modelers report that in addition to mild dishwashing liquid (Dawn and Fairy), other mild products like "Simple Green" and baby shampoo (no conditioner) also work very well.

I strongly recommend using only mild, water-based detergents. Cleaners containing harsh chemicals, like those containing acetone or acetate, will attack acrylic plastic leaving the surface looking like cauliflower, ruining your expensive part. "Dawn", "Fairy" or "Simple Green" or mild, water-based products like them, stirred into water are recommended.

Let your parts soak for a few hours. With mild products like these, you won't have to worry about toxic vapors or unpleasant odors while your parts are soaking. Paint your parts soon after cleaning.

_________________
Have fun, Monkey around.

-Steve Larsen

Complete catalog of over 1900 designs for scale modelers:
3D-printed gray resin - https://www.model-monkey.com/
3D-printed white acrylic - https://modelmonkey.wixsite.com/modelmonkey


Last edited by ModelMonkey on Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:31 am, edited 7 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:59 pm 
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What do you suppose the cost of such a beast as this?

Gene

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:05 pm 
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Dawn dish-washing liquid, the clear stuff, work great. Hey it cleans ducks, can't be to nasty to the parts. I use my ultra-sonic cleaner, with Dawn with great results.

Bob


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:52 pm 
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A question to curing of remaining not polymerised (?) resin by UV light:

Does this makes a FUD model turn yellowish?

Or what does cause the transparent resin to turn yellow? Remains of the wax?

I am asking, because one of my first bought 3D models was standing on the shelf (in the shadow) for some time, turned yellow - but after I painted it (Tamiya primer, Vallejo colours), some glittering stuff appears through the paint. This appears to be the problem with the uncured resin. True? But how is this related to the yellowing?

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 3:16 pm 
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Hi Lars,

Very interesting problem. I have not experienced yellowing. Uncured resin will certainly cause the paint problem but I wonder if something else is going on. Perhaps your thought about wax is the problem.

Hopefully, someone else can offer some thoughts here.

Pat Matthews "PatMat" has more experience than I do and may know the answer. I'll try to ask him the question.

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Have fun, Monkey around.

-Steve Larsen

Complete catalog of over 1900 designs for scale modelers:
3D-printed gray resin - https://www.model-monkey.com/
3D-printed white acrylic - https://modelmonkey.wixsite.com/modelmonkey


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:13 am 
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Here are some links that may be helpful:

Video on How Shapeways' 3D Printing Works: http://shpws.me/z2s7

Order Status and Invoice: http://shapeways.com/orders

Shapeways Support pages: http://shapeways.com/support

Shapeways Material Offerings and Design Guidelines: http://shapeways.com/materials

Upload your model file for a quote: http://shapeways.com/create

General FAQ's like "Can I change my Order?": http://shpws.me/z2sl

_________________
Have fun, Monkey around.

-Steve Larsen

Complete catalog of over 1900 designs for scale modelers:
3D-printed gray resin - https://www.model-monkey.com/
3D-printed white acrylic - https://modelmonkey.wixsite.com/modelmonkey


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:51 am 
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Tip #6: do not use acetone or acetone-free nail polish remover to clean your parts, or thinners containing methyl ethyl ketone.

In discussions with designers and printers at Shapeways, we now understand that in addition to acetone, acetate (found in acetone-free nail polish remover) and methyl ethyl ketone (also known as MEK, often used as a paint thinner for acrylic paints) will attack Frosted Detail (also known as FUD, FED or FXD) plastics and may cause the formation of a crystalline powder to form on your Shapeways parts after the solvent evaporates. Acetone can melt the plastic.

Please do not use any products containing acetone, acetate or MEK on Frosted Detail plastics from Shapeways.

In discussions with designers and printers at Shapeways, we now understand that in addition to acetone, acetate (found in acetone-free nail polish remover) and methyl ethyl ketone (also known as MEK, often used as a paint thinner for acrylic paints) will attack Frosted Detail (also known as FUD, FED or FXD) plastics and may cause the formation of a crystalline powder to form on your Shapeways parts after the solvent evaporates. Acetone can melt the plastic.

Please do not use any products containing acetone, acetate or MEK on Frosted Detail plastics from Shapeways.

In a Shapeways forum thread, it was reported that a modeler cleaned FUD with acetone-free nail polish remover probably containing ethyl acetate. The FUD developed crystals afterwards. It was also reported that crystalline powder formed on a FUD part after a modeler used MEK as a thinner for Tamiya acrylic paint. Other posts and threads there suggest that MEK is either chemically related to ethyl acetate and acetone or behaves like them. Acetone is known to attack FUD surfaces.

Here's the new advice:

Cleaning your parts: during the 3D printing process, a waxy substance is used to support certain part features. Although the parts are cleaned by Shapeways afterwards, some waxy residue may remain. It can be safely removed with water and a mild water-based detergent like "Dawn" dishwashing detergent, baby shampoo (no conditioner), or "Simple Green" using an old, soft toothbrush, Q-tips or pipe cleaners. Do NOT use any cleaner containing acetone, acetate or thinner containing Methyl Ethel Ketone (MEK). Acetone will attack acrylic plastic and damage it.

Curing and smoothing surfaces: during the "Frosted Detail" printing process, liquid resin is cured by ultraviolet light. Microscopic bits of resin may remain uncured. Let your parts sit in direct sunlight or under a UV or fluorescent lamp for a few hours to fully cure the resin. After your parts have fully cured, if desired, careful use of an inexpensive "air eraser" emitting common household baking soda can help smooth surfaces of Frosted Detail parts and remove any unwanted "frost" without harming detail. An air eraser, like an airbrush but much cheaper, can be found on Amazon.com. Models by Harbor Freight and Paasche are popular.

Primer and painting:
Only acrylic primer and paints meant for plastic are recommended. Enamel paint may not harden on "Frosted Detail" plastic. If using a spray can, look closely at the label to make sure that the solvent is not acetone or acetate. For "Strong and Flexible" products, a kind of nylon, only primers and paints intended specifically for use on nylon should be used. Other hobby paints may not adhere. Simply Google "primer for nylon" and "paint for nylon" for several good choices. Do NOT use any cleaner containing acetone, acetate or thinner containing Methyl Ethel Ketone (MEK). Acetone will attack acrylic plastic and damage it.

_________________
Have fun, Monkey around.

-Steve Larsen

Complete catalog of over 1900 designs for scale modelers:
3D-printed gray resin - https://www.model-monkey.com/
3D-printed white acrylic - https://modelmonkey.wixsite.com/modelmonkey


Last edited by ModelMonkey on Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:33 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:33 pm 
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Need opinions on use of Tamiya TS series spray paints on the frosted detail parts. These do contain solvents and chemicals such as Dimethyl Ether, Butyl Acetate and a whole host of other chemicals.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 6:42 pm 
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While I have no personal experience using Tamiya spray paints on acrylic plastic parts, the solvents sound problematic at best. Tamiya white primer in the spray can has some nasty solvents, too.

Acetate and Methyl Ethyl Ketone can cause a crystalline powder to form on the surface, even after painting, which is an annoyance to remove. The following chemicals may cause crazing, cracking, discoloration, or dissolving of Frosted Detail acrylic plastics: Acetic Acid, Acetate (found in Acetone-free nail polish remover), Acetone, Ammonia, Aromatic Solvents, Benzene, Brake Fluid, Butyl Alcohol, Chlorinated Solvents, Disinfectant, Ethyl Alcohol, Kerosene, Lacquer Thinner, Lestoil® Cleaner, Lysol® Spray, Methyl Ethyl Ketone, Naphtha, Pinesol® Cleaner, Sulfuric Acid, Turpentine, Toluene, White Cap® Cleaner, and Xylene.

Acetone is likely to melt 3D-printed Frosted Detail parts.

_________________
Have fun, Monkey around.

-Steve Larsen

Complete catalog of over 1900 designs for scale modelers:
3D-printed gray resin - https://www.model-monkey.com/
3D-printed white acrylic - https://modelmonkey.wixsite.com/modelmonkey


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